THE ITALIAN COOK BOOK
The Art of Eating Well
PRACTICAL RECIPES OF THE ITALIAN CUISINE
PASTRIES SWEETS, FROZEN DELICACIES AND SYRUPS
COMPILED BY MRS. MARIA GENTILE
ITALIAN BOOK CO. NEW YORK
COPYRIGHT 1919 BY ITALIAN BOOK CO.
One of the beneficial results of the Great War has been the teaching of thrift to the American housewife. For patriotic reasons and for reasons of economy, more attention has been bestowed upon the preparing and cooking of food that is to be at once palatable, nourishing and economical.
In the Italian cuisine we find in the highest degree these three qualities. That it is palatable, all those who have partaken of food in an Italian trattoria or at the home of an Italian family can testify, that it is healthy the splendid manhood and womanhood of Italy is a proof more than sufficient. And who could deny, knowing the thriftiness of the Italian race, that it is economical?
It has therefore been thought that a book of PRACTICAL RECIPES OF THE ITALIAN CUISINE could be offered to the American public with hope of success. It is not a pretentious book, and the recipes have been made as clear and simple as possible. Some of the dishes described are not peculiar to Italy. All, however, are representative of the Cucina Casalinga of the peninsular Kingdom, which is not the least product of a lovable and simple people, among whom the art of living well and getting the most out of life at a moderate expense has been attained to a very high degree.
BROTH OR SOUP STOCK
To obtain good broth the meat must be put in cold water, and then allowed to boil slowly. Add to the meat some pieces of bones and "soup greens" as, for instance, celery, carrots and parsley. To give a brown color to the broth, some sugar, first browned at the fire, then diluted in cold water, may be added.
While it is not considered that the broth has much nutritive power, it is excellent to promote the digestion. Nearly all the Italian soups are made on a basis of broth.
A good recipe for substantial broth to be used for invalids is the following: Cut some beef in thin slices and place them in a large saucepan; add some salt. Pour cold water upon them, so that they are entirely covered. Cover the saucepan so that it is hermetically closed and place on the cover a receptacle containing water, which must be constantly renewed. Keep on a low fire for six hours, then on a strong fire for ten minutes. Strain the liquid in cheese cloth.
The soup stock, besides being used for soups, is a necessary ingredient in hundreds of Italian dishes.
SOUP OF "CAPPELLETTI"
This Soup is called of "Cappelletti" or "little hats" on account of the shape of the "Cappelletti".
First a thin sheet of paste is made according to the following directions:
The best and most tender paste is made simply of eggs, flour and salt, water may be substituted for part of the eggs, for economy, or when a less rich paste is needed. Allow about a cup of flour to an egg. Put the flour on a bread board, make a hollow in the middle and break in the egg. Use any extra whites that are on hand. Knead it thoroughly, adding more flour if necessary, until you have a paste you can roll out. Roll it as thin as an eighth of an inch. A long rolling pin is necessary, but any stick, well scrubbed and sand papered, will serve in lieu of the long Italian rolling pin.
Cut from this sheet of paste rounds measuring about three inches in diameter. In the middle of each circle place a spoonful of filling that must be made beforehand, composed of cooked meat (chicken, pork or veal) ground very fine and seasoned with grated cheese, grated lemon peel, nutmeg, allspice, salt. The ground meat is to be mixed with an equal amount of curds or cottage cheese.
When the filling is placed in the circle of paste, fold the latter over and moisten the edge of the paste with the finger dipped in water to make it stay securely closed.
These cappelletti should be cooked in chicken or beef broth until the paste is tender, and served with this broth as a soup.
This excellent and nutritious soup is a godsend for using the stale bread that must never again be thrown away. It is composed of bread crumbs and grated bread, eggs, grated cheese, nutmeg (in very small quantity) and salt, all mixed together and put in broth previously prepared, which must be warm at the moment of the immersion, but not at the boiling point. Then place it on a low fire and stir gently. Any vegetable left over may be added.
This is an excellent soup, but as it requires boiled or roast breast of chicken or turkey it is well to make it only when these ingredients are handy.
Prepare a certain quantity of boiled potatoes, the mealy kind being preferred. Mash the potatoes and mix them with chicken or turkey breast well ground, grated cheese (Parmesan or Swiss), two or more yolks of eggs, salt and a small quantity of nutmeg. Pour the compound on the bread board with a quantity of flour sufficient to make a paste and roll it in little sticks as thick as the small finger. Cut the sticks in little pieces about half an inch long and put them in boiling water. Five or six minutes' cooking will be sufficient.
Any kind of vegetables may be used for this soup: carrots, celery, cabbage, turnips, onions, potatoes, spinach, the outside leaves of lettuce or greens of any variety.
Select three or four kind of vegetables, shred or chop coarsely cabbage or greens, and slice or cut in cubes the root vegetables. Put them over the fire with a small quantity of cooking oil or butter substitute, and let them fry until they have absorbed the fat. Then add broth and cook until the vegetables are very tender. Fry croutons of stale bread in oil and serve them in the soup.
This is made with the white meat of chicken, which is to be ground in a meat grinder together with blanched almonds (5 or 6) for one quart of chicken stock. To the meat and almond add some bread crumbs, first soaked in milk or broth, in the proportion of about one fifth of the quantity of the meat. All these ingredients are to be rubbed to a very smooth paste and hot broth is to be added to them. If you wish the soup to be richer and have a more milky consistency, use the yolk of an egg, which should be beaten, and have a few tablespoonfuls of hot broth stirred into it before adding to the soup. Do not let the soup boil after the egg is added or it will curdle.
One slice of stale bread may be cut into cubes, fried in deep fat, and the croutons put in the soup. Send it to the table with a dish of grated cheese.
(Zuppa di fagiuoli)
One cup of dried beans, kidney, navy or lima is to be soaked over night. Then boil until tender. It is preferable to put the beans to cook in cold water with a pinch of soda. When they come to boil, pour off this water and add fresh.
Chop fine 1/4 onion, one clove of garlic, one sprig of parsley and one piece of celery and put them to fry in 1/4 cup of oil with salt and a generous amount of pepper. When the vegetables are a delicate brown add to them two cups of the broth from the beans and 1 cup of tomatoes (canned or fresh). Let all come to a boil and pour the mixture into the kettle of beans from which some of the water has been drained, if they are very liquid. This soup may be served as it is or rubbed through a sieve before serving. Croutons or triangles of dry toast make an excellent addition.
The bean soup is made without meat or chicken broth, and it belongs consequently to that class of soup called by the Italians "Minestra di Magro" or "lean soup," to be served preferably on Friday and other days in which the Roman Catholic Church prohibits the use of meats.
(Zuppa di lenticchie)
The lentil soup is prepared in the same way as the bean soup, only substituting lentils for beans. A good combination is that of lentils and rice. The nutritive qualities of the lentils are not sufficiently known in this country, but all books on dietetics speak very highly of them.
(Minestrone alla Milanese)
Cut off the rind of 1/2 lb. salt pork and put it into two quarts of water to boil. Cut off a small slice of the pork and beat it to a paste with two or three sprigs of parsley, a little celery and one kernel of garlic. Add this paste to the pork and water. Slice two carrots, cut the rib out of the leaves of 1/4 medium sized cabbage. Add the carrots, cabbage leaves, other vegetables, seasoning and butter to the soup, and let it boil slowly for 2-1/2 hours. The last 1/2 hour add one small handful of rice for each person.
When the pork is very soft, remove and slice in little ribbons and put it back.
The minestrone is equally good eaten cold.
Put on the bread board about two pounds of flour in a heap; make a hollow in the middle and put in it a piece of butter, three egg-yolks, salt and three or four tablespoonfuls of lukewarm water. Make a paste and knead it well, then let it stand for an hour, wrapped or covered with a linen cloth. Then spread the paste to a thin sheet, as thin as a ten-cent piece.
Chop and grind pieces of roast or boiled chicken meat: add to it an equal part of marrow from the bones of beef and pieces of brains, three yolks, some crumbs of bread soaked in milk or broth and some grated cheese (Parmesan or Swiss). Rub through a sieve and make little balls as big as a hazel-nut, which are to be placed at equal distances (a little more than an inch) in a line over the sheet of paste.
Beat a whole egg and pass it over the paste with a brush all around the little balls. Cover these with another sheet of paste, press down the intervals between each ball, and then separate each section from the other with a knife. Moisten the edges of each section with the finger dipped in cold water, to make them stick together, and press them down with the fingers or the prongs of a fork. Then put to boil in water seasoned with salt or, better still, in broth. The ravioli are then to be served hot seasoned with cheese and butter or with brown stock or tomato sauce.
(Zuppa alla Pavese)
Cut as many thin slices of bread as are needed in order that each person may have at least two of them. These slices are then to be toasted and browned with butter. Poach two eggs for each person, one on each slice of bread and place the slices on a large and deep dish (not in a soup tureen). Pour hot broth in the plate, taking care not to break the eggs, season with Parmesan or Swiss cheese, and serve.
SPAGHETTI, MACARONI ETC.
The Italians serve the spaghetti or macaroni at the beginning of the meal, in place of soup, and they give it the name of Minestra Asciutta or "dry" soup. Besides the familiar spaghetti, the paste is served in many other forms and with different seasoning. This is by far the most popular Italian dish, and it seems to have pleased the taste of all the peoples of the earth. The highly nutritive qualities of spaghetti and of cheese, their indispensable condiment, have been recognized by all diet authorities and, as for its palatableness, the lovers of spaghetti are just as enthusiastic and numerous outside of Italy as within the boundaries of that blessed country. The most popular seasoning for spaghetti, are tomato sauce, brown stock and anchovy sauce. The description of these three condiments follows:
(Salsa di Pomidoro)
Chop together, fine, one quarter of an onion, a clove of garlic, a piece of celery as long as your finger, a few bay leaves and just enough parsley. Season with a little oil, salt and pepper, cut up seven or eight tomatoes and put everything over the fire together. Stir it from time to time and when you see the juice condensing into a thin custard strain through a sieve, and it is ready for use.
When fresh tomatoes are not available the tomato paste may be used. This is a concentrated paste made from tomatoes and spices which is to be had, at all Italian grocers', now so numerous in all American cities. Thinned with water, it is a much used ingredient in Italian recipes. Catsup and concentrated tomato soup do not make satisfactory substitutes as they are too sweet in flavor. Of course canned tomatoes seasoned with salt and a bit of bay leaf, can always be used instead of fresh tomatoes.
This sauce serves many purposes. It is good on boiled meat; excellent to dress macaroni, spaghetti or other pastes which have been seasoned with butter and cheese, or on boiled rice seasoned in the same way (see Risotto). Mushrooms are a fine addition to it.
When using concentrated paste the following recipes will be found to give good results:
Chop one onion, one carrot and a celery stalk: form a little bunch of parsley and other aromatic greens and put everything to brown in a saucepan together with a piece of butter. Add a reasonable portion of tomato paste while cooking, stir and keep on a low fire until the sauce assumes the necessary consistency.
(Sugo di Carne)
Cover the bottom of a saucepan with thin slices of beef taken from a juicy cut and small pieces of salt pork. Place over a large onion, one carrot, and a stalk of celery, all chopped in small pieces. Add some butter and cover the whole with any trimmings from steaks or roasts and any bit of left over cooked meat. Season with salt and cloves. Put over the fire without stirring. When you smell the onions getting very brown, turn the meat and when everything is quite brown add a cup of water, renewing the latter three times. Finally add a certain quantity of boiling water or, better still, of broth, and let it boil gently five or six hours. Strain, cool and skim off the fat which will form a cake on top of the liquid.
The meat can be used afterward for meat balls or Croquettes. The stock may be kept for some days and forms the basis for many dishes.
This recipe does not call for the filets of anchovies prepared for hors d'oeuvre, but the less expensive and larger whole anchovies in salt to be had in bulk or cans at large dealers. Wash them thoroughly in plenty of water. Remove head, tail, backbone and skin and they are ready for use.
Put five or six anchovies into a colander and dip quickly into boiling water to loosen the skins, remove the salt, skin and bone them. Chop them and put over the fire in a saucepan with a generous quantity of oil and some pepper. Do not let them boil, but when they are hot add two tablespoons of butter and three or four tablespoons of concentrated tomato juice made by cooking down canned tomatoes and rubbing through a sieve. When this sauce is used to season spaghetti, these must be boiled in water that is only slightly salted and care must be taken not to let them become too soft. The quantities above mentioned ought to be sufficient for about one pound of spaghetti.
SPAGHETTI OR MACARONI WITH BUTTER AND CHEESE
(Pasta al burro e formaggio)
This is the simplest form in which the spaghetti may be served, and it is generally reserved for the thickest paste. The spaghetti are to be boiled until tender in salted water, taking care to remove them when tender, and not cooked until they lose form. They should not be put into the water until this is at a boiling point.
Take as much macaroni as will half fill the dish in which it is to be served. Break into pieces two and a half to three inches long if you so desire. The Italians leave them unbroken, but their skill in turning them around the fork and eating them is not the privilege of everybody. Put the macaroni into salted boiling water, and boil twelve to fifteen minutes, or until the macaroni is perfectly soft. Stir frequently to prevent the macaroni from adhering to the bottom. Turn it into a colander to drain; then put it into a pudding-dish with a generous quantity of butter and grated cheese. If more cheese is liked, it can be brought to the table so that the guests can help themselves to it.
The macaroni called "Mezzani" which is a name designating size, not quality, is the preferable kind for macaroni dishes made with butter and cheese.
MACARONI WITH SAUCE
(Maccheroni al sugo)
The most appreciated kind of macaroni are those seasoned with tomato sauce or with brown stock (see nos. 12 and 13). The macaroni are boiled as above, then drained in a colander, returned to the saucepan and mixed with the sauce and grated cheese. For those who like it some butter may be added in the mixing.
MACARONI WITH ANCHOVY SAUCE
(Maccheroni con salsa d'acciughe)
After the paste is drained thoroughly it is to be put into the hot dish in which it is to be served and the anchovy sauce poured over it and well mixed with two silver forks until the sauce has gone all through it. Some olive oil may be added, but grated cheese is not generally used with the anchovy sauce.
MACARONI A LA CORINNA
(Maccheroni alla Corinna)
Put on the fire a pot with two quarts of salted water to which add a small piece of butter. When it begins to boil put in it 3/4 lb. macaroni. Let it boil for five minutes, then drain them in a colander. Put them again in new boiling water, prepared as above and let them cook on a slow fire. Drain them again. Cover the bottom of a plate with macaroni and cover this first layer with grated cheese and with some vegetables in macedoine, that is, chopped fine and fried brown with butter. Repeat the draining, moisten the macaroni with the water in which they have previously cooked and keep on a low fire for ten minutes more.
The Macedoine of vegetables can be made with a dozen Bruxelles sprouts or one cabbage, half a dozen big asparagus cut in little pieces, a carrot cut in thin slices, a dozen small onions, some turnips and half a dozen mushrooms. The mushrooms and the asparagus can be omitted. Melt some butter in a saucepan and when the turnips, the carrots and the onions are half cooked, add the cabbage or sprouts. Put in some water and some more butter, boil for ten minutes and then add the mushrooms and the asparagus, adding salt and pepper, and a little sugar if this is desired.
MACARONI "AU GRATIN"
(Maccheroni al gratin)
Boil the macaroni in salted water until tender and drain them. Butter slightly a fireproof casserole and lay on the bottom some grated cheese and grated bread. Alternate the layers of cheese with macaroni and on the top layer of macaroni put more cheese and bread grated. Over the whole pour some melted butter, cover the casserole, (or pyrex plate) and put it in the oven with a low fire. Keep for ten minutes or more, until the top appears browned.
(Maccheroni alla Napoletana)
Grind 1/4 lb. salt pork or bacon and fry it out in a saucepan. While it is frying put one small onion through the grinder. As soon as the pork begins to brown add the onion, the parsley chopped, a clove (or small section) of garlic shredded fine, and a few dried mushrooms which have been softened by soaking in warm water. When the vegetables are very brown (great care must be taken not to burn the onion, which scorches very easily) add 1/2 lb. round steak ground coarsely or cut up in little cubes. When the meat is a good brown color, add some fresh or canned tomatoes or half a tablespoonful of tomato paste and simmer slowly until all has cooked down to a thick creamy sauce. It will probably take 3/4 hour. The sauce may be bound together with a little flour if it shows a tendency to separate.
This sauce is used to dress all kinds of macaroni and spaghetti, also for boiled rice (see Risotto). The macaroni or spaghetti should be left unbroken when cooked. If they are too long to fit in the kettle immerse one end in the boiling salted water and in a very few minutes the ends of the spaghetti under the water will become softened so that the rest can be pushed down into the kettle. Be careful not to overcook it, and it will not be pasty, but firm and tender. Drain it carefully and put in a hot soup tureen. Sprinkle a handful of grated cheese over it and pour on the sauce. Lift with two forks until thoroughly mixed.
MACARONI FRIED WITH OIL
After the macaroni have boiled drain them and put them in a saucepan in which some good olive oil has already boiled, with a clove of garlic chopped fine. Let the paste fry, taking care that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the saucepan, and when it is well browned on one side, turn it to have the other side browned. Serve the macaroni very hot. Add no cheese.
(Risotto alla Milanese)
Melt a small piece of butter in a saucepan. Brown in the butter a medium sized onion, cut in thin slices. When the onion is browned, take it away from the saucepan and add little by little the rice, stirring it with a wooden spoon. Every time that the rice becomes dry, add some hot broth (or hot water) until the rice is completely cooked. Add salt and pepper and a little saffron, if you like it.
When the rice is almost cooked, add to it some brown stock. Dress with parmesan cheese and some butter. Mix well and serve hot. This dish must not be allowed to be overcooked or cooled before eating.
RISOTTO WITH CHICKEN GIBLETS
(Risotto alla Milanese II)
The broth for this risotto may be made by cooking together the giblets, neck and tips of wings of a chicken which is to be roasted, or it may be made from the left-overs of roast fowl.
Boil the rice until it is about half done in salted water. Then let the water cook away and begin adding the broth, in such quantity that the rice will be nearly dry when it is tender. Fry one chopped onion in the oil or fat. Some mushrooms cut up small are a very good addition to this "Soffritto". Mince the chicken giblets and add to the onion. Stir the mixture into the rice. Add grated cheese and a beaten egg just as the rice is taken from the fire.
(Risotto con piselli)
Wash and dry 1-1/2 lb. rice; chop fine one medium sized onion and put it on the fire with a small quantity of butter.
When the onion is well browned, add the rice little by little, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add some boiling water one cup at a time. Drain the peas previously prepared (fresh or canned peas may be used) and add them toward the end of the cooking. When the whole is almost cooked, add some salt and take it away from the water almost dry. Add some butter, stir and serve hot.
RISOTTO WITH LOBSTER
(Risotto coi gamberi)
For this risotto either lobster or crab meat can be used: the former is, however, considered more tasty. The lobster or crab meat ought to be about half the weight of the rice employed. A little more than a pound of rice and half this weight of crab meat ought to be enough for six persons.
Chop fine a sprig of parsley, a stalk of celery, one carrot, half an onion a clove of garlic and brown the whole in good olive oil. When browned, add the crab meat and season with salt and pepper. During the cooking process stir and turn over the crabs, and when they have become red, pour over as much hot water as is necessary to cook the rice.
After the water boils for a while, remove the lobster (or crab, or craw-fish) leaving the saucepan on the fire. Put half of the crabs aside, and grind the rest. Rub the ground meat through the sieve and put it back on the fire. In another saucepan melt some butter and put into it little by little the rice that has been washed and dried. Stir and add the broth from the first saucepan. When the rice is almost cooked add the craw-fish that you have put aside, or rather its meat extracted from the shells, take from the fire and pour over it the fish mixture, adding some grated cheese.
RICE WITH SAFFRON
(Riso alla Milanese con Zafferano)
Wash and dry the rice and put it in boiling broth (beef or chicken broth). When the rice is half cooked add half its weight of marrow of beef bone, cut into small pieces. A few minutes are sufficient for the cooking of the marrow. Add grated cheese and remove the kettle from the fire.
Dissolve some saffron in one or two tablespoonfuls of broth; sift it through a sieve and mix with rice, which is to be served very hot, and makes an excellent soup.
(Frittelle di riso)
Cook the rice in milk, adding a small quantity of butter, some salt, half a teaspoon of sugar and just a taste of lemon peel. Let the rice cool down after being thoroughly cooked, then add three yolks of eggs (for 1/4 lb. of rice) and some flour. Mix well and let the whole rest for several hours. When about to fry, beat the white of the eggs to a froth, add to the rice mixing slowly, and put into the saucepan with a ladle.
Take two artichokes, cut out the hard part of the leaves and of the stalk, cut them in two. Then cut these halves into section or slices so as to have eight or ten for each artichoke, according to size. As you cut them, throw them into cold water and when they are well washed, dry them, but not thoroughly, putting them at once into the flour so that the latter remains attached to it. Beat the white of an egg, but not to a froth, then mix the yolk with the white and salt the whole. Shake out the artichokes to take away the superfluous flour and then put them in the egg, leaving them for a while so that the egg may be attached to them.
Throw the pieces one by one into the pan where there is boiling fat, butter or olive oil, and when they are well browned, take them away and serve with lemon. If it is desired that the artichokes remain white, it is better to fry them in oil and to squeeze half lemon into the water where the artichokes are put to soften.
(Carciofi a vapore)
Artichokes have been only recently imported to the United States, principally by Italian farmers, and they are just beginning to find their way into the American kitchen. The artichokes may be eaten raw or cooked. It is a healthy and palatable vegetable, easily digested when cooked. It is nutritious and adapted for convalescents. It may be prepared in a thousand ways, and here follow some of the simplest and most tasteful.
To prepare the steamed artichokes they must first be cleaned and the stalk cut to less than half an inch. Put them in a saucepan, standing on their bottoms, one near the other, in half an inch or more of water. In an opening made in the middle put salt and pepper, and pour inside as much good olive oil as they may contain. Cover well the saucepan and put it on the fire. The artichokes, that are already seasoned, will be cooked by the steam.
(Carciofi in stufato)
Wash the artichokes and cut the hard part of the leaves (the top). Widen the leaves and insert a hash composed of bread crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper and oil. Place the artichokes in the saucepan standing on their stalk, one touching the other. Cover them with water and let them cook for two hours or more. When the leaves are easily detached they are cooked.
ARTICHOKES WITH BUTTER
(Carciofi al burro)
Wash, dry and cut out the top of the leaves of as many artichokes as are needed. Cut them in two or four and boil them in salt water. When tender, drain them, have them slightly browned in melted butter and season with salt and pepper.
When served in a vegetable dish or placed in a pyramid on a round plate, sprinkle with grated cheese.
The squashes used by Italians for frying and other purposes are very small, and for this reason they are called "Zucchine" or small squashes. They can be bought at those shops kept by Italian vegetable dealers that are now to be found in large number in most American cities and, invariably, in Italian neighborhoods during the summer season. The "Zucchine" are an extremely tasty vegetable and they are especially good when fried.
Select the squashes that are long and thin: wash them cut them in little strips less than half an inch thick. Take away the softer part of the interior and salt moderately. Leave them aside for an hour or two, then drain them but don't dry them. Put them in flour and rub gently in a sieve to take away the superfluous flour: immediately after put them in a saucepan where there is already oil, fat or butter boiling. At the beginning don't touch them to avoid breaking, and only when they have become a little hardened stir them and remove when they begin to be browned.
(Agnello in frittata)
Cut in little pieces a loin of lamb, which is the part that lends itself best for this dish, and fry in lard: a little quantity of lard is sufficient, because the meat of the loins is rather fat. When half cooked season with salt and pepper and when fully cooked pour over four or five whole eggs slightly beaten also seasoned moderately with salt and pepper. Mix, taking care that the eggs do not harden.
Wash a spring chicken and keep in boiling water for one minute. Cut into pieces at the joints, roll them in flour, season with salt and pepper and dip in two whole beaten eggs. After leaving the pieces of chicken for half an hour, roll them in bread crumbs, repeating the operation twice if necessary. Put into a saucepan with boiling oil or fat, seeing that the pieces of chicken are well browned on both sides. Keep the fire low. Serve hot with lemon.
CHICKEN ALLA CACCIATORA
(Pollo alla cacciatora)
Chop one large onion and keep it for more than half an hour in cold water, then dry it and brown it aside. Cut up a chicken, sprinkle the pieces with flour, salt and pepper and saute, in the fat which remains in the frying pan. When the chicken is brown add one pint fresh or canned tomatoes and half a dozen sweet green peppers and put back the onion. When the gravy is thick enough add hot water to prevent the burning of the vegetables. Cover the pan tightly and simmer until the chicken is very tender. This is an excellent way to cook tough chickens. Fowls which have been boiled may be cooked in this way, but of course young and tender chickens will have the finer flavor.
CORN MEAL WITH SAUSAGES
(Polenta con salsicce)
Cook in water one cup of yellow cornmeal making a stiff mush. Salt it well and when it is cooked spread out to cool on a bread board about half an inch thick. Then cut the mush into small squares.
Put in a saucepan several whole sausages with a little water, and when they are cooked skin and crush them and add some brown stock or tomato sauce.
Put the polenta (or cornmeal mush) in a fireproof receptacle, season with grated cheese, the crushed sausages and a piece of butter. Put it in the oven and serve when hot.
Make a very stiff mush of cornmeal cooked in milk. Salt it well and spread out on the bread board in a sheet about one inch thick. When cold, cut in little diamonds or squares and place these in a buttered baking dish. Prepare the Bolognese sauce according to the following recipe: Chop 1/4 lb. round steak, a slice of pork or bacon, one small carrot 1/4 onion, one large piece celery. Put the meat and vegetables over the fire with a piece of butter. When the meat has browned add half a tablespoon of flour and wet the mixture with hot water or broth, allowing it to simmer from half an hour to an hour. It is done when it is the consistency of a thick gravy.
Make a smooth white sauce with milk cornstarch and butter. Over a layer of the polenta, cut as above and placed in the baking dish sprinkle some grated cheese and a few tablespoons each of the white sauce and the meat sauce. Repeat until the dish is full. Bake until the top is nicely browned. This dish seems very elaborate, but it is very delicious and a meal in itself.
The Bolognese sauce is also used to season macaroni or spaghetti in lieu of the tomato sauce or the brown stock.
Take some rolls, and by means of a round opening on the top, as large as a half dollar piece or less, extract nearly all the crumb, leaving the crust intact, but not too thin. Wet inside and outside with hot milk, and when they are fairly soaked, dip in beaten eggs and fry them in lard or oil. When beginning to brown, fill them with meat that has been previously chopped and cooked. This chopped meat ought to be made with breast of chicken, chicken giblets, liver etc., brown stock and some flour to hold it together.
(Stracotto di vitella)
The stock from this dish may very well be used to season macaroni or boiled rice. Care must be taken, however, not to draw away all the juice of the meat in order to have a sauce too rich at the expense of the principal dish.
Place in a saucepan one pound of veal or more, bone included, a piece of butter or some olive oil (or the two together) half a medium sized onion, one small carrot, two celery stalks cut in small pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Put it on a low fire, turn the meat over often and when browned add a pinch of flour and some tomato paste, bringing it to full cooking with water poured little by little. The flour is used to keep the sauce together and give it color, but care must be taken not to burn it, because in that case the sauce would have an unpleasant taste and a black, instead of a reddish color. The addition of dried mushrooms, previously softened in the water and slightly boiled in the sauce will add greatly to its taste.
As has been said the sauce can well be used to season spaghetti or risotto. The stewed veal can be served with some vegetable.
CHICKEN BONED AND STUFFED
(Pollo dissossato ripieno)
To remove the bones from a chicken the following instructions will be found useful.
Wash and singe the fowl: take off the head and legs, and remove the tendons. When a fowl is to be boned it is not drawn. The work of boning is not difficult, but it requires practice. The skin must not be broken. Use a small pointed knife cut the skin down the full length of the back; then, beginning at the neck, carefully scrape the meat away from the bone, keeping the knife close to the bone. When the joints of the wings and legs are met, break them back and proceed to free the meat from the carcass. When one side is free, turn the fowl and do the same on the other side. The skin is drawn tightly over the breast-bone, and care must be used to detach it without piercing the skin. When the meat is free from the carcass, remove the bones from the legs and wings, turning the meat down or inside out, as the bones are exposed, and using care not to break the skin at the joints. The end bones of the wing cannot be removed, and the whole end joint may be cut off or left as it is.
Now that the fowl is boned make the following stuffing, regulating the quantity on the size of the chicken. Chop half a pound or more, of lean veal, and grind it afterwards, so that it may make a paste. Add a large piece of bread crumb soaked in broth, a tablespoon of grated cheese, three yolks of egg, salt, pepper and, if desired, just a taste of nutmeg. Finally mix also one or two slices of ham and tongue, cut in small pieces. Stuff the boned chicken with this filling, sew up the opening, wrap it tightly in a cloth and put to cook in water on a low fire. When taken from the water, remove the wrapping and brown it, first with butter, then in a sauce made in the following way: Break all the bones that have been extracted from the chicken, the head and neck included, and put them on the fire with dried meat cut in little pieces, butter, onion, celery and carrot, seasoned with salt and pepper. Make the sauce with the water in which the chicken has been boiled, which has naturally become a good chicken broth.
Before sending to the table, remove the thread with which the chicken has been sewed.
CHICKEN WITH TOMATOES
(Pollo alla contadina)
Take a young chicken and make some little holes in the skin in which you will put some sprigs of rosemary and a clove of garlic cut into five or six pieces. Put it on the fire with chopped lard and season with salt and pepper inside and outside. When it is well browned on all parts add tomatoes cut in pieces, taking care to remove previously all the seeds. Moisten with broth or water. Brown some potatoes in oil, fat or butter, previously cutting them into sections. When browned dip in the sauce of the chicken and serve the whole together.
CHICKEN WITH SHERRY
(Pollo al marsala)
Cut the chicken in big pieces and put it in the saucepan with one medium sized onion chopped fine and a piece of butter. Season with salt and pepper and, when it is well browned, add some broth and complete the cooking. Remove the excessive fat from the sauce by sifting through a sieve or otherwise, and put the chicken back on the fire with a glass of Sherry or Marsala wine, removing it from the fire as soon as the sauce begins to boil.
CHICKEN WITH SAUSAGES
(Pollo colle salsicce)
Chop fine half an onion and put it in a saucepan with a piece of butter and four or five slices of ham, half an inch wide. Over these ingredients place a whole chicken, season with pepper and a little salt and place on the fire. Brown it on all sides and, when the onion is all melted, add water or broth and three or four sausages freshly made. Let it cook on a low fire, seeing that the sauce remains liquid and does not dry up.
CHICKEN WITH EGG SAUCE
(Pollo in salsa d'uova)
Break into pieces a young chicken and put it in the saucepan with a piece of butter. Season with salt and pepper. When it is half browned sprinkle with a pinch of flour to give it color, then complete the cooking with broth. Remove it from the same and put it on a plate. Beat the yolk of one egg with the piece of half a lemon and pour it on the sauce of the chicken, allowing it to simmer for some minutes. Then pour on the chicken and serve hot.
CHICKEN BREASTS SAUTES
(Petti di pollo alla saute)
Cut the breast of a fowl in very thin slices, give them the best possible shape and make a whole piece from the little pieces that will remain, cleaning well the breast-bone, crushing and mixing these. Season with salt and pepper and dip the slices in beaten eggs, leaving them for a few hours. Sprinkle with bread crumbs ground fine and saute in butter. Serve with lemon.
If you want this dish more elaborate prepare a sauce in the following way: Put some good olive oil in a frying pan, just enough to cover the bottom, and cover the oil with a layer of dry mushrooms. Sprinkle over a small quantity of grated cheese and some bread crumbs. Repeat the same operation three or four times, according to the quantity, and finally season with olive oil, salt and pepper and small pieces of butter. Put the pan over the fire and when it has begun to boil pour a small cup of brown stock or broth and a little lemon juice. Remove the same from the fire and pour it on the chicken breast that have been browned as described above.
Clean the duck, putting aside the giblets, and cut off the head and legs. Chop fine a thick slice of ham with both lean and fat together, with a moderate amount of celery, parsley, carrot and half medium sized onion. Put the chopped ham and vegetables in a saucepan and lay the duck on the whole, seasoning with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides and add water to complete the cooking.
Cabbage or lentils, cooked in water and afterward allowed to complete the cooking in the sauce obtained from the duck, form a good addition.
To remove the "gamey" taste from the wild duck, either wash it in vinegar before cooking or scald it in boiling water.
(Piccioni in umido)
Garnish the squabs with whole sage leaves and place them in a saucepan over a bed of small slices of ham containing both lean and fat, season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Place on the fire and when they begin to be browned, add a piece of butter and complete the cooking by pouring in some good broth. Before removing from the fire squeeze one lemon over them and garnish with squares or diamonds of toasted bread. Take care not to add too much salt on account of the ham and the broth both containing salt.
Note—Many of these dishes, it will be noticed, are made with broth. When meat broth is not available, it can be prepared with bouillon cubes or with Liebig or Armour Extracts. It is, however, always preferable to use broth made with fresh meat.
RAGOUT OF SQUABS
(Manicaretto di piccione)
Cut two or more squabs at the joints, preferably in four parts each, and put them on the fire with a slice of ham, a piece of butter, and a bunch of parsley. When they begin to dry, add some broth and—before they are completely cooked—their giblets and fresh mushrooms cut in slices. Continue pouring in broth and allow the whole to simmer on a low fire. Add another piece of butter over which some flour has been sprinkled, or flour alone. Before serving, remove the ham and the bunch of greens and squeeze some lemon juice over the squabs.
Some sweetbread may be added with good effect, but it must be first scalded and the skin removed.
(Timballo di piccioni)
Chop together some ham, onion, celery and carrot, add a piece of butter and place on the fire with one or two squabs, according to the number of guests. Add the giblets from the squabs and some more of chicken, if at hand. Season with salt and pepper, and when the pigeons are browned, pour over some broth to complete the cooking, taking care, however, that the sauce does not become too liquid. Remove the latter and place in it some macaroni that has been half cooked and drained. Keep the macaroni in the sauce on the fire, stirring them. Make a well reduced Bechamel sauce, then cut the squabs at the joints, removing the neck, the legs and the bones of the back, when you would not bone them entirely, which would be better. Cut the giblets in small pieces and remove the soft part of the onion.
When the macaroni have absorbed the sauce, season them with grated cheese, pieces of butter, diamonds or squares of ham, a taste of nutmeg and some truffles or dry mushrooms previously softened in water. Add finally the Bechamel sauce and mix the whole.
Take a sufficiently large mold, butter it and line it with soft pastry. Put everything in the mold, or timbale, cover it with the same pastry and put in the oven. Take out of the mold and serve hot. Three quarters of a pound of macaroni and two pigeons are enough for ten persons.
SALMI OF GAME
(Uccelli in salmi)
Roast the game completely, seasoning with salt and pepper. If the game be small birds, leave them whole, if big cut them in four parts. Remove all the heads and grind them together with some pieces of birds, or some whole little birds. Put in a saucepan one tablespoonful of butter one half pound of bacon or ham cut into dice, brown stock or broth, one tablespoonful each of chopped onion and carrot, one tablespoonful each of salt, thyme and sage. Allow the sauce to simmer for half an hour then rub it through a sieve and place in it the roasted game. Make it boil until the cooking is completed and serve with toasted diamonds of bread.
(Stufato di lepre)
Take half of a good sized hare and, after cutting it in pieces, chop fine one medium sized onion, one clove of garlic, a stalk of celery and several leaves of rosemary. Put on the fire with some pieces of butter, two tablespoonfuls of olive oil and four or five strips of bacon or salt pork, when the whole has been browning for four or five minutes, put the pieces of hare inside the saucepan and season them with salt, pepper and spices. When it is browned, put a wineglass of white wine, some fresh mushrooms, or dry mushrooms previously softened in water. Complete the cooking with broth and tomato sauce and, if necessary, add another piece of butter.
(Coniglio in umido)
After washing the rabbit, cut it in rather large pieces and put it on the fire to drive away the water that is to be drained. When quite dry, put in the saucepan a piece of butter, a little oil, and a hash composed of the liver of the rabbit itself, a small piece of corned beef and some onion, celery, carrot and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Stir often and when it is browned add some tomato sauce and another piece of butter.
Chop all together some capers that have been in vinegar, one anchovy, a small slice of onion and just a taste of garlic. Crush the resulting hash with the blade of a knife to make it very fine. Add a sprig of parsley, chopped together with some leaves of basil and dissolve the whole in very good olive oil and lemon juice.
This sauce is excellent to season boiled chicken or cold boiled fish or hard boiled eggs.
Green Peppers can take the place of capers, if these are not at hand.
This sauce can be served with boiled asparagus or with cauliflower. The ingredients are 1/4 lb. of butter, a tablespoonful of flour, a tablespoonful vinegar, one yolk of egg, salt and pepper, broth or water in sufficient quantity.
Put first on the fire the flour with half the butter and when it begins to be browned pour over it the broth or the water little by little, stirring with the wooden spoon and adding the rest of the butter and the vinegar without making the water boil too much. When taken off the fire add the yolk of the egg, stir and serve.
This sauce is especially good for boiled fish, and the quantities indicated below are sufficient for a piece of fish or a whole fish weighing about a pound.
Put on the fire in a little saucepan one teaspoonful of flour and two ounces of butter, and when the flour begins to be browned, pour over it little by little one cup of the broth of the fish, that is to say of the water in which the fish has been boiled. When you see that the flour does not rise in the boiling water, take away the sauce from the flour and pour over two tablespoonfuls of olive oil and the yolk of an egg, stirring and mixing everything well. Squeeze in the sauce half a lemon and season generously with salt and pepper. Let it cool and then pour over the fish that is to be served with a sprig of parsley.
This sauce must have the appearance of a cream and must not be too liquid, in order that it may remain attached to the fish.
SAUCE FOR BROILED FISH
(Salsa per pesce in gratella)
This sauce is composed of yolks of eggs, salted anchovies, olive oil and lemon juice. Boil the eggs in their shell for ten minutes and for every hard yolk take one large anchovy or two small. Bone the anchovies and rub them on the sieve together with the hard (or semi-hard) yolks, and dissolve all with oil and lemon juice to reduce it like a cream. Cover with this sauce the broiled fish before sending to the table, or serve aside in a gravy boat.
(Salsa con capperi)
This sauce is especially adapted for boiled fish and the quantities are for a little more than one pound of fish. The ingredients are two ounces of butter, two ounces of capers soaked in vinegar one teaspoonful of flour, salt, pepper and vinegar.
Boil the fish and, when it is left warm in its broth, prepare the sauce. Put on the fire the flour with half of the butter, mix it and when it begins to take color, add the remaining butter.
Let boil a little and then pour one half cup of the broth of the fish: season generously with salt and pepper and take the saucepan from the fire. Then throw in it the capers, half whole, half chopped, and some drops of vinegar, but taste it to dose the sauce so that it is pleasant to the taste and as thick as liquid cream.
It is well to observe here that these sauces in which butter is used together with acids, such as vinegar, are not for weak stomachs and should be partaken of sparingly.
Chop fine a sprig of parsley and half a clove of garlic. Then mix with some capers soaked in vinegar, one anchovy, one hard yolk of egg, three pitless olives, a crumb of bread as big as an egg, soaked in vinegar. Grind all these ingredients, rub through a sieve and dissolve in olive oil, dosing right by tasting.
This sauce resembles the famous French Bechamel Sauce, but it is simpler in its composition.
Put in a saucepan one tablespoonful of flour and a piece of butter as big as an egg. Stir the flour and the butter together while keeping them over the fire. When the flour begins to be browned, pour over a pint of milk, continually stirring with a wooden spoon until you see the liquid condensed like a cream. This is the Balsamella. If it is too thick add some milk, if too liquid put back on the fire with another piece of butter dipped in flour.
A good Balsamella and some well prepared brown stock are the base and the principal secret of many savory dishes.
(Frittata in riccioli)
Boil a bunch of spinach and rub it through a sieve. Beat two eggs, season with salt and pepper and mix with them enough spinach to make the eggs appear green. Put the frying pan on the fire with only enough oil to grease it and when very hot put in a portion of the eggs, moving the frying pan so as to make a very thin omelet. When well cooked, remove it from the frying pan and repeat the operation once or twice in order to have two or three very thin omelets. Put these one over the other and cut them in small strips that are to be browned in butter adding a little grated cheese. These strips of omelet, resembling noodles, form a tasty and attractive dressing for a fricandeau (veal stew) or a similar dish.
VEAL KIDNEY OMELET
(Frittata di rognone di vitella)
Take a veal kidney, open it lengthwise and leave all its fat. Season with oil, salt and pepper, broil it and cut in thin slices. Beat enough eggs in proportion to the size of the kidney, season them with salt and pepper, both in moderate quantity and mix with them a sprig of parsley and some grated cheese. Put the sliced kidney in the eggs, mix all together and make an omelet with some butter.
The Pasta sfoglia is not too difficult to make and if the following instructions are carefully followed, this fine and light paste can easily be prepared. It is well to have a marble slab to roll it on but this is not absolutely necessary. A warm, damp day is not favorable for the making of the Pasta sfoglia, which succeeds better when the weather is cold and dry.
Mix half a pound of flour of the very best quality with a piece of butter as big as a walnut, some warm, but not hot water, enough salt and a teaspoonful of good brandy. When the paste is formed knead it well for about half an hour, first with the hands, then throwing it repeatedly with force against the bread board. Make a cake of a rectangular form, wrap it in cloth and let it rest for a while. Meanwhile work with the hand 1/2 lb. of butter that has been kept previously on ice or, better, in a bowl of ice-water, until it becomes smooth and flexible, then make of it a little cake like that of the paste and throw it in a bowl of cold water. When the dough has rested take the butter from the water, wipe it with a cloth and dip it in flour.
Roll the paste only as long as it is necessary to enclose within the cake of butter. This is placed in the middle and the edges of the sheet of paste are drawn over it, closing well with fingers moistened in a little water so that no air remains inside. Then begin to flatten, first with the hands, then with the rolling pin, making the sheet as thin as possible, but taking care that the butter does not come out. If this happens throw at once a little flour where the butter appears and always have the marble slab (or bread board) and the rolling pin sprinkled with flour. Fold it over, making three even layers of paste, and again roll the folded strip, repeating the operation six times and letting the paste rest from time to time for a few minutes. At the last time, fold it in two and reduce it to the necessary thickness that is, about one third of an inch. After each folding press the edges gently with the rolling pin to shut in the air, and turn the paste so as to roll in a different direction.
When the paste has had six turns cut it into the desired forms and put on ice, or in a cold place for twenty to thirty minutes before putting it on the oven, which must be very hot, with the greatest heat at the bottom.
The puff paste is used for pate shells and vol-au-vent cake and for light pastries of all kinds.
PASTE FOR FRYING
(Pastella per fritto)
Dilute three teaspoonfuls of flour with two teaspoonfuls of oil. Add two eggs, a pinch of salt, and mix well. This mixture will take on the aspect of a smooth cream and is used to glaze fried brains, sweetbreads and the like. All these things are first to be scalded in boiling salt water. Add a pinch of salt and one of pepper when taking from the water. The brains, sweetbreads etc. are then to be cut in irregular pieces, thrown into the paste, or cream, described above and fried in oil or good lard.
In frying these are often united to liver or veal cutlets. The liver must be cut in very thin slices and the cutlets beaten with the side of a big knife and given a good shape. Season with salt and pepper, dip in beaten egg and after a few hours sprinkle with bread crumbs and fry. Serve with lemon.
(Ripieno di pollo)
The ingredients are 1/4 lb. lean veal or pork or breast of turkey and chicken giblets. Cook this meat together with a little hash of onion, parsley, celery, carrot and butter. Season with salt pepper and spices, moistening it with broth. Take dry from the fire, take off the soft parts of the giblets, add a few dry mushrooms softened in water, a little slice of lean fat ham and chop everything fine. Into the sauce that has remained from the cooking throw enough breadcrumbs to make a tablespoonful of hard soaked bread. Mix it with the chopped hash, add a pinch of grated cheese and two eggs and fill the chicken with all this, sewing up the opening afterwards. The chicken can be boiled or stewed. If boiled you will have an excellent bouillon, but pay attention when cutting the chicken to extract the stuffing in one piece in order to slice it.
MEAT STUFFING FOR VOL-AU-VENT
(Ripieno di carne per pasticcini di pasta sfoglia)
This stuffing can be made either with stewed veal or chicken giblets or sweetbreads. The latter are preferable, being more delicate and a taste of truffles greatly improves the stuffing. If sweetbreads are used, put them on the fire with a piece of butter and season with salt and pepper. When they have begun to take color, complete the cooking with some brown stock, then cut them in pieces as little as a bean. Add one or two spoons of Balsamella (see No. 54) a little tongue, one or two slices of ham cut in little squares, a pinch of grated cheese and a taste of nutmeg, seeing that the ingredients are in such quantities as to make the mixture tasty and delicate. Leave it cool well, as in this way it hardens and can be worked better.
In order to enclose it in pate shells made with puff-paste (see No. 57) there are two ways. One is to cook the shells filled with the stuffing, the other to fill them after they are cooked. In the first case put the stuffing in the prepared disk of paste, moisten the edge with a wet finger, cover with another disk of paste and cook. In the second case, which is more convenient because the shells can be prepared one day before, the two disks are put together without the stuffing, but in the upper disk a circular cut must be made as large as a half dollar coin. The pate on cooking swells and leaves an empty space in the interior. Lifting with the point of a knife the little circle above, which has the form of a cover, the interior space can be made larger, filled with the stuffing and covered with the little cover. In this way it is enough to warm them before sending to the table. The puff-paste must always be glazed with the yolk of eggs.
If a large vol-au-vent is to be filled instead of little pate-shells, a ragout of chicken giblets and sweetbread, cut in large pieces, is better.
PORK LIVER FRIED
(Fegato di maiale fritto)
Cut in to thin slices some pork liver, sprinkle with flour and fry in good lard. It must be served with its sauce. Squeeze in a lemon while it is frying.
FRIED CROQUETTES, BOLOGNA STYLE
(Fritto composto alla Bolognese)
Take a piece of stewed lean veal, a little brain boiled or stewed, and a slice of ham. Chop and grind everything fine. Add a yolk of egg or a whole egg, according to the quantity, and a little Balsamella (see No. 54). Put the hash on the fire and stir until the egg is cooked. Add finally grated cheese, a taste of nutmeg, and, if you have them, some truffles chopped very fine and put in a plate. When quite cold make some little balls as large as a walnut and roll them in flour. Then dip in beaten egg and bread crumb ground very fine, repeating the operation twice, and fry.
(Fritto alla Romana)
Put on the fire a hash of onion and butter and when it is well browned cook in it a piece of lean veal seasoned with salt and pepper. When the meat begins to brown put in a little sherry wine to complete the cooking.
Pound the whole to soften it a little using the sauce remained and if this is not enough add some broth and finally the yolk of an egg. See that the whole is not softened too much.
Now take some wafers, not too thin and cut them in squares similar to those used by druggists. Beat one egg and the white from the other egg, then take a wafer, dip it in the egg and place it on a layer of bread crumbs ground fine. On the wafer put a little ball of the compound above, then dip another wafer in the egg, make it touch the bread crumbs only from the part that remains outside, and with this cover the compound attaching it to the lower wafer. Sprinkle again with bread crumbs if necessary and put the piece aside repeating the operation until all the meat is disposed of. Cook in oil or fat and serve with lemon.
With half a pound of meat about twenty filled wafers should be obtained.
This can be made when you happen to have some breast of roast chicken left over. Some chicken breast, two or three slices of tongue and ham, one tablespoonful of grated cheese, a taste of nutmeg, are the ingredients used. Remove the skin of the chicken and cut it as well as the tongue and the ham, into little cubes. Make a Balsamella (see No. 54) in sufficient quantity and when it is cooked add the above ingredients and let it cool well to fry using the wafer as in the preceding.
(Frittelle di riso)
Cook thoroughly 1/4 lb. of rice in about a pint of water giving it taste with a little piece of sugar and a taste of lemon peel. Leave it cool and then add three yolks of eggs and a little flour. Mix well and let the whole rest for several hours. When you are going to fry beat the white of an egg to a froth, add it to the rice and throw into the frying pan one tablespoonful at a time.
Serve hot sprinkled with confectionery sugar.
Take one large kidney, or two or three small kidneys, open them and remove all the fat. Cut lengthwise in thin slices, salt and pour as much boiling water as is needed to cover them. When the water is thoroughly cooled, drain it and wipe well the slices with a cloth, then put them in a frying pan with a small piece of butter. Turn them often and when they have cooked for five minutes put in a pinch of flour and season with salt and pepper. Leave them on the fire until thoroughly cooked and when you are going to take them away add another piece of butter, a sprig of chopped parsley and a little broth if needed. The kidney must not be kept too much on the fire, because in that case it hardens.
LEG OF MUTTON IN CASSEROLE
(Cosciotto di castrato in cazzaruola)
Take a shoulder or a leg of mutton and after having boned it, lard it with small pieces of bacon dipped in salt and pepper. Salt moderately the meat then tie it tight and put it on the fire in a pan that contains a piece of butter and one large onion larded with clover. When it begins to brown, take it away from the fire and add a cup of broth, or of water, a little bunch of greens and some tomatoes cut in pieces. Put again on a low fire and let it simmer for three hours, keeping the saucepan closed, but opening from time to time to turn the meat. When it is cooked, throw away the onion, rub the sauce through a sieve, remove its fat and put it with the meat when served. The mutton must not be overdone, for in this case it cannot be sliced.
(Scaloppine alla Livornese)
Take some slices of tender beef, beat them well and put them in a saucepan with a piece of butter. When this is all melted, put one or two tablespoonfuls of broth to complete the cooking, season with salt and pepper, add a pinch of flour and before taking them from the fire put in a pinch of chopped parsley.
CUTLETS OF CHOPPED MEAT
(Scaloppine di carne battuta)
Take some good lean beef, clean it well, removing all little skins and tendons, then first chop and after grind the meat fine in the grinder. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of grated cheese. Mix well and give the meat the form of a ball then with bread crumbs over and beneath flatten it with the rolling pin on the bread board making a sheet of meat as thick as a silver dollar. Cut it in square pieces, as large as the palm of the hand and cook in a saucepan with butter. When these cutlets are browned, pour over some tomato sauce and serve.
If you prefer, use your hands instead of the rolling pin and then you can give them the shapes you like.
If you have some left over meat this can perfectly well be mixed with the raw meat and chopped and ground together.
VEAL CUTLETS STEWED
(Scaloppine alla Genovese)
Cut some lean veal meat into slices and, supposing it be a pound or a little more, without bones, chop one fourth of a middle-sized onion and put it in a saucepan with oil and a little piece of butter. Put over the cutlets, one layer over the other, season with salt and butter and put on the fire. When the meat which is below is browned put in a teaspoonful of flour and after a while a hash of parsley with half a clove of garlic. Then detach the cutlets the one from the other, mix them, let them drink in the sauce, then pour hot water and a little tomato sauce. Make it boil slowly and not much to complete the cooking and serve with abundant sauce and with little diamonds of toast.
Slice from a piece of veal (about one pound) seven or eight cutlets and beat them well with a knife blade to flatten them. Then chop some tender veal meat and one or two slices of ham and add a small quantity of marrow bone (of veal) and grated cheese. The marrow and the grated cheese must be reduced to a paste with the blade of a knife. One egg is then added to tie up the hash and a pinch of pepper, but no salt on account of the ham and the cheese that already contain it. Spread the cutlets and put the hash in the middle, then roll them up and tie them with strong thread.
Now prepare a small hash with a little onion, a piece of celery a piece of carrot and a small quantity of corned beef and put it in the fire in a saucepan with a small piece of butter, at the same time that you put the cutlets. Season with salt and pepper and when they begin to brown pour some tomato sauce and complete the cooking with water. Before serving, remove the thread with which the cutlets have been tied.
Take one pound of veal, without bones, clean it well taking away all skins and tendons and then chop it together with a slice of ham. Season moderately with salt pepper and spices, add one whole egg then with moistened hands make a ball of the chopped meat and sprinkle with flour.
Make a hash with two or three slices of onion (not more) parsley, celery, and carrot, put it on the fire with a piece of butter and when it is browned throw in the Polpettone. Brown well on all sides and then pour in the saucepan half a tumbler of water in which half a tablespoonful of flour has been previously diluted. Cover and make it simmer on a very low fire, seeing that it doesn't burn. When you serve with the gravy squeeze the juice of half a lemon over it.
If desired a hard boiled egg can be put shelled in the center of the meat ball, so that it gives it a better appearance when sliced.
LAMB WITH PEAS
(Agnello ai piselli)
Take a piece of lamb from the hind side, lard it with two cloves of garlic cut in little strips and with some sprigs of rosemary. Chop fine a piece of lard and a slice of corned beef. Put the lamb on the fire with this hash and a little oil and let it brown after seasoning with salt and pepper. When it is browned add a piece of butter, some tomato sauce, or tomato paste dissolved in water or soup stock and complete the cooking. Take away the lamb, put the peas in the gravy, and when they have simmered a little and are cooked put back the lamb and serve.
SHOULDER OF LAMB
Cut the meat of a shoulder of lamb in small pieces, or squares. Chop two small onions, brown them with a piece of butter and when they are browned put the meat and season with salt and pepper. Wait until the meat begins to brown and then add another piece of butter dipped in flour. Mix the whole and complete the cooking with soup stock or water with bouillon cubes poured in little by little.
BREAST OF VEAL STEWED
(Stufatino di petto di vitella)
Break a piece of breast of veal leaving all its bones.
Make a hash with garlic, parsley, celery and carrot; add oil, pepper and salt and put on the fire with the meat. Turn it over often, and when it begins to brown, sprinkle over a pinch of flour and a little tomato sauce or tomato paste diluted in water. Complete the cooking with broth or water. Finally add a piece of butter and pieces of celery cut in big pieces which must have been before half cooked in water and browned in butter. Care must be taken to keep the saucepan always covered, in this as in other stews.
VEAL WITH GRAVY
(Vitella in guazzetto)
First take about one pound of veal and tie it well. Then cover the bottom of the saucepan with some thin slices of corned beef and a piece of butter. Over this place half a lemon cut in four thin slices from which the skin and the seeds must be removed. Over all this put the veal which must be well browned on all sides, but care must be taken not to burn it on account of the small quantity of liquid. Afterward, remove the superfluous fat and pour over a cup of hot milk, that has boiled. Cover the saucepan and complete the cooking. Before serving rub the gravy through a sieve.
TRIPE WITH GRAVY
Boil some tripe in water and when it is boiled, cut it in strips, one quarter of an inch wide and wipe it well with a cloth. Then put it in a saucepan with butter, and when this is melted, add some brown stock or good tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper, cook thoroughly and add a pinch of grated cheese before taking from the saucepan.
VEAL LIVER IN GRAVY
(Fegato di vitella al sugo)
Chop fine a scallion or an onion, make it brown in oil and butter, and when it has taken a dark red color, throw in the liver cut in thin slices. When half cooked season with salt, pepper and a pinch of chopped parsley. Make it simmer on a low fire so that the gravy remains, and serve in its gravy, squeezing over some lemon juice when sent to the table.
In this and in similar cases, when using scallions or onions, some advise putting these in a cloth after being chopped and dip them in cold water squeezing them dry after.
MUTTON CUTLETS AND FILET OF VEAL
(Braciuole di castrato e filetto di vitella)
Put in saucepan a slice of ham, some butter, a little bunch composed of carrot, celery and stems of parsley and over this some whole cutlets of mutton seasoned with salt and pepper. Make them brown on both sides, add another piece of butter, if necessary, and add to the cutlets some chicken giblets, sweetbreads and fresh or dry mushrooms (the latter softened in water), all cut in pieces. When all this begins to brown, pour some soup stock and let it simmer on a low fire. Sprinkle a little flour and finally pour a wineglass (or half a tumbler) of white wine leaving it boil a little more. When ready to serve remove the ham and the greens, rub the gravy through a sieve and remove the superfluous fat.
TENDERLOIN WITH MARSALA
(Filetto al marsala)
Roll a piece of the tenderloin, tie it and, if it is about two pounds, put it on the fire with a middle-sized onion cut in thin slices, some thin slices of ham and a piece of butter, seasoning but moderately with salt and pepper. When it is browned from all sides and the onion is consumed, sprinkle a pinch of flour, let this take color and then pour some soup stock or water. Make it simmer on a low fire, then rub the gravy through a sieve, skim off the fat and with this and half a small tumbler of Marsala or Sherry wine put it back on the fire to simmer again. Serve with the gravy neither too liquid nor too thick.
The filet can also be larded with bacon and cooked in butter and Marsala only.
(Carne alla Genovese)
Take thick slices of good lean veal, weighing about a pound, beat it and flatten it well. Beat three or four eggs, season them with salt and pepper, a pinch of grated cheese and some chopped parsley. Fry the eggs in butter in the form of an omelet about the size of the meat over which it will be laid, cutting it where it overlaps and putting the pieces where it lacks so as to cover the meat entirely. After that roll tight the meat together with the omelet and tie it with thread. Then sprinkle some flour over it and put it in a saucepan with a piece of butter, seasoning with salt and pepper. When it is well browned on all sides, pour some soup stock to complete the cooking and serve it in its gravy which will be thick enough on account of the flour.
RICE PUDDING WITH GIBLETS
(Sfornato di riso con rigoglie)
Make a good brown stock (see No. 13) and use the same for the rice as well as for the giblets. To these add some thin slices of ham and brown them first in butter, seasoned moderately with salt and pepper, completing the cooking with brown stock. A taste of mushrooms will be found useful.
Brown the rice equally in butter, then complete the cooking with hot water. Drain and put the brown stock, adding grated cheese and two beaten eggs, when the rice has cooled a little.
Take a smooth mold, round or oval, grease it evenly with butter, cover the bottom with buttered paper and place in it the rice to harden it in the oven. When taken from the mold pour over the gravy from the giblets, slightly thickened with a pinch of flour and serve with the giblets around, seeing that there is plenty of gravy for them.
(Budino alla genovese)
Chop together a slice of veal, some chicken breast and two slices of ham and then grind or better pound them, with a small piece of butter, a tablespoonful of grated cheese and a crumb of bread soaked with milk. Rub through a sieve and add three tablespoonfuls of Balsamella (see No. 54) which you will make thick enough for this dish, three eggs and just a taste of nutmeg, mixing everything well.
Take a smooth mold, grease it evenly with butter and put on the bottom a sheet of paper, cut according to the shape of the bottom and equally greased with butter. Pour over the above ingredients and cook in a vessel immersed in boiling water (double boiler).
When taken from the mold, remove the paper and in its place put a gravy formed with chopped chicken giblets cooked in brown stock. Serve hot.
(Pane di fegato)
Cut about one pound of veal liver in thin slices and four chicken livers in two parts and put all this in a saucepan with rosemary and a piece of butter. When this is melted put in another piece and season with salt and pepper. After four or five minutes at a live fire, remove the liver (dry) and grind it together with the rosemary. In the gravy that remains in the saucepan put a big crumb of bread, cut into small pieces and make a paste that will also be ground with the liver. Then rub everything through a sieve, add one whole egg and two yolks and a pinch of grated cheese, diluting with brown stock or water. Finally put in a smooth mold with a sheet of paper in the bottom, all evenly greased with butter and cook in a double boiler. Remove from the mold when cool and serve cold, with gelatine.
VEAL WITH TUNNY
Take two pounds of meat without bones, remove the fat and tendons, then lard it with two anchovies. These must be washed and boned and cut lengthwise, after opening them, making in all eight pieces. Tie the piece of meat not very tight and boil it for an hour and a half in enough water to cover it completely. Previously put into the water one quarter of an onion larded with clover, one leaf of laurel, celery, carrot and parsley. Salt the water generously and don't put the veal in until it is boiling. When the veal is cooked, untie, dry it and keep it for two or three days in the following sauce in quantity sufficient to cover it.
Grind 1/4 pound tunny fish preserved in olive oil and two anchovies, crush them well with the blade of a knife and rub through a sieve adding good olive oil in abundance little by little, and squeeze in one whole lemon, so that the sauce should remain liquid. Finally mix in some capers soaked in vinegar.
Serve the veal cold, in thin slices, with the sauce.
The stock of the veal can be rubbed through a sieve and used for risotto.
STUFFED ITALIAN SQUASH
For a description of the Zucchini see No. 32.
To make the stuffed zucchini first cut them lengthwise in two halves and remove the interior pulp, leaving space enough for the filling.
Take some lean veal (quantity in proportion to the squashes) cut it into pieces and place it on the fire in a saucepan with a hash of onion, parsley, celery, carrot, a little corned beef cut in little pieces, a little oil, salt and pepper. Stir it often with a spoon and when the meat is brown pour in a cup of water and then another after a while. Then rub the gravy through a sieve and put it aside.
Chop the cooked meat fine and grind it in the grinder and make a hash of it and one egg, a little grated cheese, a crumb of bread boiled in milk or in soup stock and just a taste of nutmeg. Put this hash inside each half squash and put them to brown in butter, completing the cooking with the gravy set aside.
STRING BEANS AND SQUASHES SAUTE
(Fagiolini e zucchini saute)
Brown in butter some string beans, that have been previously half cooked in water and some raw squashes cut in cubes. Put the squashes in only when the butter is beginning to brown. Season moderately with salt and butter and add some brown stock or good tomato sauce.
STRING BEANS WITH EGG SAUCE
(Fagiuolini in salsa d'uovo)
Take less than a pound of string beans, cutting off the two points and removing all the strings, and then cook them partially in water moderately salted. Take them from the kettle, drain, and brown with butter, salt and pepper. Beat one yolk with a teaspoonful of flour and the juice of half a small lemon, dilute with half a cup of cold broth from which the fat has been removed and put this liquid on the fire in a small saucepan stirring continually. When the liquid has become, through the cooking, like a cream, pour it on the string beans that you will keep on the fire a little longer, with the sauce. The string beans so prepared can be served with boiled beef.
STRING BEANS IN MOLD
(Sformato di fagiolini)
Take one pound of string beans, seeing that they are quite tender. Cut off the ends and remove the strings. Throw them into boiling water with a pinch of salt and when they are half cooked take them away and put them in cold water. If you have brown stock complete the cooking with this and with butter, otherwise brown a piece of onion, some parsley, a piece of celery and olive oil. When the onion is browned put in the string beans and complete the cooking with a little water if necessary.
Prepare a Balsamella sauce (No. 54) with a small piece of butter, half a teaspoonful of flour and half a cup of milk. With this, a tablespoonful of grated cheese and four beaten eggs bind the string beans when they are cold, mix and put in a mold, evenly greased with butter and the bottom covered with paper. Cook in a double boiler and serve hot.
CAULIFLOWER IN MOLD
(Sformato di cavolfiore)
Take a good sized cauliflower, remove the stalk and outside leaves, half cook it in water and then cut it into small pieces. Salt them and put them to brown with a little piece of butter and then complete the cooking with a cup of milk. Then rub them through a sieve. Prepare a Balsamella (No. 54) and add it to the cauliflower with 3 beaten eggs and a tablespoonful of grated cheese.
Cook in a greased mold and serve hot.
ARTICHOKES IN MOLD
(Sformato di carciofi)
Remove the outside leaves of the artichokes, the harder part of all leaves, and clean the stalks without removing them.
Cut each artichoke into four parts and put them to boil in salt water for only five minutes. If left longer on the fire they become too soaked in water and lose their taste. Remove from the water, drain them, grind or pound and rub them through a sieve. Season the pulp so obtained with two or three beaten eggs, two or three tablespoonfuls of Balsamella (No. 54) grated cheese, salt and a taste of nutmeg, but taste the seasoning several times to see that it is correctly dosed.
Place in a mold with brown stock or meat gravy (in that case use a mold with a hole) and cook in double boiler.
Choose middle-sized mushrooms, which are also of the right ripeness: when they are too big they are too soft and if small they are too hard.
Scrape the stems, wash them carefully but do not keep in water, for then they would lose their pleasant odor. Then cut them in rather large slices and dip them in flour before putting in the frying pan. Olive oil is best for frying mushrooms and the seasoning is composed exclusively of salt and pepper to be applied when they are frying. They can also be dipped in beaten eggs after being sprinkled with flour, but this is superfluous.
(Funghi in umido)
For a stew the mushrooms ought to be below middle-size. Clean, wash and cut as for the preceding. Put a saucepan on the fire with olive oil, one or two cloves of oil and some mint leaves. When the oil begins to splutter, put the mushrooms in without dipping in flour, season with salt and pepper and when they are half cooked pour in some tomato sauce. Be sparing however, with the seasoning, in order that the mushrooms do not absorb it too much and so lose some of their own delicate flavor.
Mushrooms are an excellent condiment of various dishes and for this reason it is well to have some always at hand. Since, however, it is not always possible to have them fresh, the following recipe to prepare dried mushrooms will be found useful.
First of all wait until there is a sunny day. Choose young mushrooms middle sized or big, but not too soft. Scrape the stem, clean them well in order to remove the earth and, without washing cut them in big pieces. This because when dried they diminish considerably in size. Keep these pieces exposed in the sun for two or three days, then thread them on a string (practising a hole in them) and keep in a well ventilated room or in the sun until they become quite dry. Then put them away well closed in a paper bag, but don't fail to look at them from time to time to see if it is necessary to expose them some more to sun and ventilation.
To use them soften in warm water, but keep them in as little as possible, so that they do not lose their delicate flavor. The best time to dry the mushrooms is June or July.
Egg-plant or, as they are also called, mad-apples are an excellent vegetable which may be used as dressing or as a dish by itself. Small or middle-sized egg-plants are to be preferred, as the big ones have sometimes a slightly bitter taste.
Remove the skin, cut into cubes, salt and leave them in a plate for a few hours. Then wipe them to remove the juice that they have thrown out, dip in flour and fry in oil.
(Melanzane in umido)
Remove the skin, cut them into cubes and place on the fire with a piece of butter. When this is all absorbed, complete the cooking with tomato sauce (No. 12).
EGG-PLANTS IN THE OVEN
(Melanzane al forno)
Skin five or six egg-plants, cut them in round slices and salt them so that they throw out the water that they contain. After a few hours dip in flour and frying oil.
Take a fireproof vase or baking tin and place the slices in layers, with grated cheese between each layer, abundantly seasoned with tomato sauce (No. 12).
Beat one egg with a pinch of salt, a tablespoonful of tomato sauce, a teaspoonful of grated cheese and two of crumbs of bread, and cover the upper layer with this sauce. Put the vase in the oven and when the egg is coagulated, serve hot.
DRESSING OF CELERY
(Sedano per contorno)
The following are three ways to prepare celery to be served as seasoning or seasoning for meat dishes. For the first two make the pieces about four inches long, and two inches for the third. The stalk must be skinned, cut crosswise and left attached to the rib of the celery. Boil it in water moderately salted not over five minutes and remove dry.
1. Put the celery to brown in butter, then complete the cooking with brown stock (No. 13) and sprinkle with grated cheese when serving.
2. Put in saucepan a piece of butter and a hash made with ham and a middle sized onion, chopped fine. Add two cloves and make it boil. When the onion is browned add soup stock or hot water with bouillon cubes and complete the cooking. Then rub everything through a sieve and put the gravy in a plate with the celery, seasoning with pepper only, as the salt is already in the ham and serve with the gravy.
3. Dip the celery in flour and in the paste for frying (No. 58) and fry in fat or oil. Or else dip in flour and then in beaten egg, wrap in bread crumbs and fry.
ARTICHOKES WITH SAUCE
(Carciofi in salsa)
Remove the hard leaves of the artichokes, cut the points and skin the stalk. Divide each artichoke into four parts or six if they are big, and put them on the fire with butter in proportion, seasoning with salt and pepper. Shake the saucepan to turn them and when they have absorbed a good part of the melted butter, pour in some broth to complete the cooking. Remove them dry, and in the gravy that remains put a pinch of chopped parsley, one or two teaspoonfuls of cheese grated fine, lemon juice, more salt and pepper if needed, and, mixing the whole, make it simmer for a while. Then remove the sauce from the fire and add one or two yolks of egg, according to the quantity and put back on the fire with more broth to make the sauce loose. Put the artichokes in the sauce this second time to heat them and serve especially as a side-dish for boiled meat.
Cut the stalk at the base, remove the small outside leaves and wash the artichokes. Then cut the top and open the internal leaves so that you can cut the bottom with a small knife and remove the hairy part if it is there. Keep aside the small interior leaves to put them with the stuffing. This, if to be used, for example, for six artichokes, must be composed of the above small leaves, 1/8 lb. of ham more lean than fat, one fourth of a small onion, just a taste of garlic, some leaves of celery or parsley, a pinch of dry mushrooms, softened in water, a crumb of bread and a pinch of pepper, but no salt.
First chop the ham, then grind everything together and with the hash fill the artichokes, and put them to cook standing on their stalks in a saucepan with some oil, salt and pepper. Some prefer to give the artichokes a half cooking in water before stuffing it, but it is hardly advisable, because in this way they lose part of their special flavor.
ARTICHOKES STUFFED WITH MEAT
(Carciofi ripieni di carne)
For six artichokes, make the following stuffing:
1/4 lb. lean veal. Two slices of ham, more fat than lean. The interior part of the artichokes. One fourth of onion (small). Some leaves of parsley. One pinch of softened dried mushrooms. One small crumb of bread rolled and sifted. One pinch of grated cheese.
When the artichokes have been browned with oil alone, pour a little water and cover with a moistened cloth kept in place by the cover. The steam that surrounds the artichokes cooks them better.
PEAS WITH ONION SAUCE
(Piselli alla francese)
The following recipe is good for one of fresh peas. Take two young onions, cut them in half, put some stems of parsley in the middle and tie them. Then put them into the fire with a piece of butter and when they are browned, pour over a cup of soup stock. Make it boil and when the onions are softened rub them through a sieve together with the gravy that you will then put on the fire with the peas and two whole hearts of lettuce. Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer. When the peas are half cooked add another piece of butter dipped in a scant tablespoonful of flour and pour in some broth, if necessary. Before sending to the table put in two yolks of eggs dissolved in a little broth.